Foodie Penpals Reveal!

 

Yay! Time for another reveal. I participated for the second month in a row Food Penpals through The Lean Green Bean. This month I got paired with two awesome ladies. Generally speaking you only are paired with one awesome person but the first person I emailed didn’t respond within the 72 hour time frame so I was reassigned but then I did receive an email back so I decided to send to both of them and therefore got two awesome boxes!

First up is Ronda, from South Carolina! She writes at Kitchen Dreaming, check it out for some awesome recipes!

Ronda

I am so ready to head out to South Carolina! Fried peanuts, peach jelly and a local cookie she made called Bennies that she sent the recipe for. Yum!

Next up is Nicole, from SoCal-an area I know well, having lived there throughout my life and constantly visiting.

NicoleAmong the local products, she sent California raisins (anyone remember the California Raisins from the ’80’s and 90’s? Are they still around?) and almonds from her uncle’s farm North of Los Angeles, how cool is that! She also sent Herbs D’Provence which I love using on chicken and haven’t had any for awhile!

Want to get in on the fun next month?

Here’s some details about FPP in case you want to join in for July:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. 
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans.  

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for March, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get an awesome box of Oregon goodies from me!

On My Bookshelf: The Vacationers

 

***I was sent this book  in order to review by Birchbloggers***

***This post contains affiliate links***

The Vacationers is one of this summer’s must read books. I recently signed onto Birchbloggers through Birch Box, which if you’re interested in trying out, please use my link to sign up! As a part of Birchbloggers, I was sent a copy of the book to review.

Here’s what Goodreads had to say: “For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated.

This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.”

I liked the book, I felt that the characters were very well developed and I had buy-in to their futures and what was happening to them. Franny and Jim are going through marital strife, Sylvia is going through teen angst, Franny and Jim’s older son, who comes with his girlfriend, is going through job difficulties and the difficulty of dating someone much older than him who wants different things in life. Franny’s best friend and his partner are trying to adopt a baby and the struggles that come with that.

This is definitely a great summer read and my only disappointment is that I felt that the story ended without really sharing the end of everyone’s stories but overall, a great book and now I want to go to Mallorca!

Pretty Little Beauty Swap Reveal

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Coming home to packages is always fun and this weekend, when I came home Sunday from San Francisco, I had several packages waiting for me including my Pretty Little Beauty Swap package! This month I was paired with the delightful Cassie from Southeast by Midwest.  Cassie was delightful (although for some reason her email didn’t like me and kept throwing me into spam!) But it worked out and we had a great exchange!

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I loved that I felt like I was getting a beauty package in the mail with the paper and tissue! We had a discussion about masks and healthy products so it was nice to receive several of those!

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I think it was in middle school/late elementary school that Freeman products were huge-I remember using their shampoos and masks all the time! It’s literally been years since I’ve seen their products so I am super excited to try out their products now!

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I’m always on the lookout for a good mascara so I’m excited to try this one out and see how good it is. I’ve started only using mascara on my upper lashes in the hopes that I get less clumping throughout the day. Any suggestions for this one?

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I’ve never seen or heard of sea terra but I love the smell of rose so I’m excited to try this out and see how it works.

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I’ve been wanting to try out Julep forever now so I am super excited to be able to see what I think before I make the plunge into buying a subscription box!

 

Thanks Cassie for the awesome treats! To see what I sent her, go check out her blog!

 

June Literary Junkies

Pink Heels Pink Truck

 

***THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS***

I’m always happy to participate in Literary Junkies. I missed last month, I cannot for the life of me remember why though.

Let’s jump into the questions:

THE QUESTIONS:
1. What are you reading? Tell us about it!
Currently I’m reading

 

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis: 

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss–the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died–is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. 

If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made–good and bad–that led to her last kiss.

Bethany Neal’s suspenseful debut novel is about the power of first love and the haunting lies that threaten to tear it apart.”

I’m not usually a fan of fiction that talks about afterlife, etc but it’s an interesting story and I’m curious to find out what really happened to her.

2. Library or bookstore?

Oh so torn! I live in Portland where we have the best bookstore ever, Powell’s! This should be on anybody’s list if they come to Portland!

But I also appreciate the amazingness that libraries provide which is why I just restarted my library card.


3. What book(s) have you read and re-read several times?

I’ve mentioned this book several times on the blog already because I can’t seem to get enough of it and always find something new every time I pick it up! For awhile I had two copies, the copy I got in 7th grade and a nice hardbound edition but I finally gave away the hardbound edition to someone who I think will love the book as much as me.

 


4. What is the first book that made you fall in love with reading?

I vividly remember reading this book at the age of four. Although more like;y is that i just memorized my parents reading it and then read it. I still own the book and plan to keep it to pass on my passion of reading to the next generation!



5. Who’s your favorite author? Tell us so we can binge-read!

Oh several.

Right now I’m into Elin Hildebrand, Jennifer Weiner, Jen Lancaster, Amy Hativany. I could go on!

Go get your reading on!

A Friend, Gone too Soon.

Photo Via Death To Stock Photo

Photo Via Death To Stock Photo

Taken too soon. Sunday morning I received a text message from a friend of mine asking if I had heard about another friend of ours, that she had passed away and did I know anything about it. My heart clenched. I didn’t know specifically but I knew that several years ago she had been sick. I had thought she had gotten better, in fact the last time I had seen her, the first year I lived in New York, she was better and was moving back to the West Coast to be closer to her family. Somehow, with none of us knowing, she must have fallen ill again and passed away Friday morning. I immediately went onto Facebook, our new way of communicating news both good and bad and there it was, written in black and white. She was gone. I knew she hadn’t shared with many people the first time she had been ill and there was no mention on her Facebook page this time either until someone posted about her death.

She was a quiet and beautiful person, an amazing artist whose creations took my breath away on a regular basis. She was a phenomenal educator who combined art and education in ways I can only dream about. I wish I had stayed in better touch with her. I wish I had known that she was ill again. But she made the choice that she wasn’t going on social media about this and I respect that. We utilize social media as a way to keep people connected to what’s going on in our lives and it’s always a surprise to learn when someone chooses not to share information. We’ve become so reliant on Facebook and Twitter that we’ve stopped connecting one on one with people. What does this say about us? What does this say about our society that if it’s not posted for the world to see, it slips through the cracks.

Is there someone in your life who has made a profound, if subtle, impact on your life but yet you haven’t spoken to in awhile? If so, reach out to them today. Let them know that you’re thinking about them. Let them know you care and you want to keep in touch. Don’t let the time pass by, don’t wait to see if they post on social media. Don’t wait to hear information second-hand from others. In the meantime, I will remember and honor my friend, quietly, in my own way-perhaps I will create something in her honor, in the ways that she’s inspired me.

Foodie Fridays: Quick ‘n’ Easy Quiche Recipe

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I have a friend at work who has chickens. This is something I aspire to have because seriously, what’s better than fresh eggs?! Well she was nice enough to give me a dozen eggs a few weeks ago and I wanted to make something to spotlight the eggs so I decided to make a quiche.

Beautiful Fresh Eggs

Well the biffle has a fabulous quiche recipe that we made a few times when I was living in New York and so I sent her a message asking for that recipe. Of course it’s a recipe that lives in her head, like the best recipes so she wrote out the best she could and sent it back to me.

Ingredients

 

Hers was a basic recipe that you could add whatever you wished to it. I decided to make it a smoked salmon quiche. So I headed to my local grocery store, New Seasons, which if you live in the Portland area, should be a regular shopping place for you, and picked up all the necessary ingredients.

Cheese

Ahhh cheese, glorious cheese. I did a mixture of emmentaler swiss and gruyere cheese, heavy on the swiss with an accent of gruyere.

Then I separated the eggs.

IMG_3295 Egg Separating

 

 

 

 

I used the try and true mechanism of my fingers :) lots of fun!

Mixing

 

Then I added heavy cream and cheese in with the yolks.

Beating

 

Beat the egg whites to a froth.

salmon and crust

 

I cheated here because I’ve never made a pie crust so I bought a pre-made one. But I layered the salmon on top of the crust.  I then mixed the egg whites with the creamy, cheesy yumminess.

Pre Cooked

 

Ready to go into the oven!

Fresh out of the oven

 

Delicious quiche!!

So here are the basic instructions from the biffle:

“You can do whatever veggies you want but water-y veggies are bad. If you use frozen veggies make sure they are totally thawed and you’ve squeezed excess water out. I normally do it with frozen spinach, which works well, but it must be thawed, cold, and no extra water.

separate 5-6 eggs. Mix cheese, egg yolks, salt, pepper, the veggies together. You’re going to need to put in heavy cream (1-2 cups) – it’s hard to know how much, I just judge my consistency which needs to be loose but not watery. You beat the egg whites until they are fluffy, then fold them into the other mixture until it’s blended. Then dump it in the shells (I used pre-made), and bake for 45 min or so at 350 degrees. I always check after a half hour, sometimes they go fast.

Sorry, this is a recipe in my head, so it’s hard to write it out! If you put in meat, I recommend putting a thin layer of mixture, then laying in the meat, then putting more mixture on top. Most recipes says to put it on the bottom but it can burn or make the crust soggy there.

Separating the eggs, in my opinion, really does make a difference and is worth it.”

Do you have a favorite egg recipe that you want to share? I’m looking for good ones!

 

Swaps! Books ‘n’ Bloggers

Yay! It’s time for one of my favorite swaps! This will be the third time I’m participating and I love it! I also just love participating in Chaotic Goddess Swaps.  Every swap I’ve participated in with them has been fantabulous!

 

Wanna join in the fun?  Signups end on June 9th over at their website.

Happy Reading!

Foodie Fridays: Foodie Pen Pals

I kind of dropped off the grid for a a couple of weeks. I actually went to Vegas with the biffle last weekend which was awesome! And now I am slowly getting back into the flow of things. I’m also transitioning to start working full-time starting July 1st at one of my part-time jobs but throwing in working on community educational initiatives, which I am super psyched about!

A couple of years ago, when I was still living in New York, I participated in a foodie pen pals through the Lean Green Bean swap three or four times. I loved it but because of my schedule, couldn’t commit to doing it. I decided to restart it this month and I am so glad I did! I was paired with Raina from the_home_plate. What a sweetheart! She lives in Murfreesboro, TN–I’ve actually been there! We drove through there last month on our way back to Nashville from the Jack Daniels Distillery. I stopped and had my first Sonic experience–a delicious milkshake that they brought to my car :).

Raina sent an awesome package full of yummies-many of which I brought on the plane with me to Vegas. Here we go!

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A delicious package full of goodies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-05-22 21.34.45  A sweet letter describing things including the fact that Goo Goo Clusters are a Tennessee treat coming from Grand Ole Opery (GOO). So cool! I never knew that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious yummies including really good Asian chocolate treats, corn bread, salsa and sauce, almonds and pecans!

Foodie

 

 

 

Foodie 2

 

 

I am super excited for basil olives and chess pie!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Raina, for such an awesome package! I totally recommend getting involved with swaps, I think they are a great way to get to know people and to get some interesting stuff!

On My Bookshelf: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

the_perks_of_being_a_wallflower_book_cover_drawing_by_pigwigeon-d5j78el Anyone who knows me, knows that I HATE audio books. Case in point, the bestie and I were driving up from Los Angeles to Portland for camp in summer 2007. The biffle gave us one of the Harry Potter books on CD to listen to on the way up–to give us something to do on this long trip. There are many things about both the bestie and I that came out. OK, mostly about me. The first is, even though it was his car, I think I let him drive a grand total of about two hours out of the 20 some hour trip. So maybe I have some control issues! The second was, we put on the CD before we even left LA and before we even made it from the 405 to I-5, I threw the CDs into the backseat and refused to listen anymore. I decided I HATED books on tape.

So that was my story and I was sticking to it. This year, I participated, for the third year in a row, in World Book Night, an awesome opportunity where you get chosen to hand out books on the same night each year. This year, after the event, they sent an email out with an offer to download three audio books. I figured it was worth a try and worst case, I didn’t spend any money. So I chose to download and start listening to The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky. I knew it was a pretty popular movie and well received book but hadn’t read or seen it.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis: “Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up”

I LOVED this book! Surprisingly I also loved listening to it. It took me about a week to get through the six hours. I listened only in the car, I have about a 20-25 minute commute each way to work and am randomly in my car throughout the week as well. I am going to be honest and say that there were times I sat outside my house, wanting to just listen to a little bit more before I went in! The book reminded me a lot of what high school was like, although I didn’t go through the same things as Charlie, but I did love Rocky Horror Picture Show! I was also surprised yet not surprised with the end of the book. I actually really want to watch the movie and see the differences between the two.

Do you listen to audio books? Have you found certain books to be better than others?

On My Bookshelf: My Abandonment

My AbandonmentI originally decided to read this book because it was chosen for the book club I was signed up to go to through Meetup.  I ended up not going but still read the book. It was a short book so a quick read, I think I finished it in an afternoon.

Goodreads synopsis: “A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water’s edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.
Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of a young narrator, Caroline, Peter Rock’s My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope

All in all, this was an incredibly poignant and sad book. I was able to really identify with Caroline, even though I have nothing in common with her. The book definitely had a twist at the end that took me by complete surprise and I wished I could have learned more about that. I also loved that the book was based in Portland, in Forest Park, a place where I hiked recently. I love local flavor books as you know!

I would definitely recommend this book–it’s short and sweet but keeps your attention.